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C'River pays N55bn debt in 12 months, Says Otu

Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River says, the state has paid a total of N55 billion debt and contractual obligation since the inception of his administration in May 29, 2023.

The Governor attributed the feat in honouring the debt and contractual obligation to his administration’s prudent resource allocation.

According to him, "these are debts we met and that which we must begin to pay if the state is to move forward."

The Governor, who made this disclosure during a media parley in Calabar on Thursday, also debunked the debt burden of the state as published by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The DMO had said the state recorded an eight percent increase in the domestic debt profile after the present government borrowed the sum of N16.15 billion.

According to the DMO, the state debt burden rose from N204.05 billion to N220. 20 billion in six months.

"On the much talked about debt burden of the State, I wish to clarify that the error that was caused by the Budget Office of the Federal Ministry of Finance has been corrected and the adjusted figure shall be uploaded on their website soonest," he clarified.

Otu also disclosed that his administration also reactivated the State reserve fund account which at present has a balance of N3.7 Billion Naira saved for the rainy days.

"We have also initiated the process of valuing critical asset of the State which will invariably expand our investment portfolio," he said.

He said the state has also introduced full automation of revenue collection.

The essence, according to him, is to monitor major revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the deployment of necessary measures to collect revenue from micro and small businesses in rural areas across the State.

The measure, he noted, was to ensure revenue collection is now tracked in real-time and block leakages where necessary.

 "From June 2023  to May 2024, the State internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has grown by 60.6% (N36.3 Billion)," he said

By Ndifreke Bassey, The Beagle News